Electronic Taster Has A Nose For Coffee
An "electronic taster" for coffee has been developed by
Swiss researchers. The food industry regards machines like this as essential for good quality control. Coffee presents a real challenge; roasted coffee aroma is composed of more
than 1000 volatile organic compounds.
(From Coffee tasting machine diagram)
The researchers started by having a team of ten trained human taste testers go over a set of samples, and assess the taste and aromatic qualities of the coffee. The espresso coffees selected for this study were blended mainly from different Arabica varieties with some Robusta. They used a Quantitative Descriptive Analysis, consisting of nine aroma and two taste attributes scored on a scale ranging from 0 (not intense) to 10 (very intense) for each product by monadic sensory evaluation. They expressed their judgment in terms like roasted, flowery, woody, and toffee.
The researchers created a device that would heat a sample of espresso and then analyze the gases released by monitoring the headspace over the device. The chemical information was then translated into the taste qualities used by the human judges. The result for each sample was a unique profile (see profiles below). The red colored outline represents the results of the human testing.
(From Coffee tasting machine sample profiles)
-red colored outline represents human test results-
The coffee-tasting machine research will appear in the March 1st issue of ACS' Analytical Chemistry.
Science fiction writers have been thinking about machines with a sense of smell for a long time. In his classic 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury created the chilling mechanical hound that guarded the fire station:
Nights when things got dull, which was every night, the men slid down the brass poles, and set the ticking combinations of the olfactory system of the hound and let loose rats in the fire house area-way. Three seconds later the game was done...
(Read more about Ray Bradbury's mechanical hound)
Another attempt to visualize sniffer robots and assign them a practical task is found in the 1985 movie Runaway by Michael Crichton. In the film, detectives use a four-legged sniffer robot to find and identify trace compounds at a crime scene (see Crichton's sniffer robot from Runaway).
If you have a nose for this sort of news, read on:
From When Machine Tastes Coffee: Instrumental
Approach To Predict the Sensory Profile of
Espresso Coffee [pdf] via Eurekalert.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/21/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )
Related News Stories -
OK, NASA 3D Printer Of Food Not Yet Star Trek Food Synthesizer
Maybe not, but we're seeing definite progress.
BlueNalu Yellowtail Might Be Your First Lab-Grown Meat
Vat-grown nigiri sushi?
Beijing HaiDiLao Robotic Hotpot Restaurant Now Flavored By Artificial Intelligence
'Kantos Kan led me to one of these gorgeous eating places where we were served entirely by mechanical apparatus.' - Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1912.
Plants of the Future - What Should They Be Like
'He almost choked in his astonishment. Mashed potatoes and brown gravy!' - Robert Heinlein, 1941.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
ESA Space Claw To Grab Space Junk
Now, where have I seen this idea before?
Airport Security Now Using Predator-Style Heat Vision Helmets
'Want some candy?'
'Black Friday' Online Shopping - In 1899!
'In your days they showed you a fashion-plate,' said the tailor, 'but this is our modern development.'
DARPA's Virtual Caves Explored By Virtual Robots
'If there's anything in here worth looking at, these pups'll find it.'
Glass Dome Cities On Mars, Dreamed By Elon Musk
'They will have flung great arches and domes of glass above the wider spaces...'
Kuka Robot 'Heidi' Paints With Artificial Intelligence
Robots make art for man.
Looking Glass Display Good Enough For Science Fiction, Fantasy
'The figure seemed to be swimming toward the surface.'
Do You Need The Entire Fembot? Maybe Just The Hand
'...Men don't want real women anymore. You and I are behind the times...'
3D Printing With Sunlight And Sand
'We made a crude, small cell and were delighted...'
Samsung Gets Transparent Smartphone Patent
The Transparency of Things to Come
Monkey Gets A Bigger Brain, Thanks To Human Gene
'It's a madhouse! a madhouse!'
Solar Power Beamed From Space Studied By Brit Boffins
'Our beams feed these worlds energy drawn from... the Sun.'
Pandemic Entrepreneurs! Consider Robo Esso Robot Barista
'... the perpetual beam carved in the robot face of the bartender, the classic Irish grin.'
Shape-Shifting Robot From MIT
'... the structure of that shape is retained down to the molecules.'
Tesla's 20,000 Superchargers
'To recharge the batteries, which can be done in almost every town and village...'
Smallest Rogue Planet Discovered In Milky Way
'...a swarm of rogue planets chanced by.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories